Defending Domestic Violence Charges in Virginia

Defending domestic violence charges in Virginia can be stressful without the guidance of a skilled domestic violence lawyer. A Virginia domestic violence lawyer can assess the severity of your case as it relates to local laws and come up with a proper defense to mitigate any potential penalties you face, protect your rights, and obtain a positive outcome in your case.

Domestic Violence Protective Orders

A protective order is an order of restriction and protection when the court deems it is necessary for a reasonable fear of imminent bodily injury, sexual assault, or death. If a protective order is in place, the court will not allow individual go to counseling and take that away unless that person no longer has a reasonable fear.

If an individual does not understand a protective order or they do not understand what happens after a domestic violence situation, they should err on the side of no contact. Ideally, a lawyer will make sure that their client is following the protective order’s instructions to a tee because the consequences of violating a protective order are so severe.

Violating a protective order after facing domestic violence charges in Virginia is not a series of actions that can be mended simply by apologizing. That is not going to work in court and an individual is going to find themselves in jail or in prison as a result of the violation.

Counseling and Diversionary Programs

For the purposes of domestic violence, there is a first offender’s program for domestic assault and battery where they plead no contest to the charges, which means that they admit that there are facts to find them guilty and then the case is continued out for two years where they are on probation.

They cannot get in trouble at all during that time. However, there is usually a protective order but anger management is going to be required. Domestic violence charges in Virginia can be dismissed if the person complies with the anger management requirement. However, this scenario is only applicable for first offenders for an assault and battery.

Importance of Evidence

Evidence that helps in explaining away any injuries is important.  An individual should be careful of any statements that they make or has made. If someone is facing some charge and the accuser is out there, slamming the victim on the Internet or to their friends, that is going to make them look bad.

In domestic violence and domestic assault and battery cases, the most important evidence is usually the testimony of the alleged victim. That person’s statement and that person’s description of what happened count a lot in court. Evidence that is essential is anything that is going to discredit the witness.

An individual should write down everything that happened and write down who was there and what they could have seen. If there is any video that could have taken, an individual should make sure that the individual preserves that. The more evidence, the better someone can make a self-defense claim when defending domestic violence charges in Virginia.

Preparing a Defense

Each set of courts, judges, and jurisdiction are different. Each juvenile and domestic relations court have different procedures and different outcomes that could impact defending domestic violence charges in Virginia.

Having a local domestic violence defense attorney or domestic violence lawyer is important because they are going to be able to give an individual a much more accurate picture of how everything is going to shake out in the jurisdiction but also they are going to make sure that they do not miss any technical arguments or filing requirements of that local jurisdictions.

There are some jurisdictions where continuances are never allowed in these types of situations. There are some jurisdictions where that has to be appealed up to the circuit court. Certainly, these are all things that a defense attorney is going to know if they are familiar with that specific jurisdiction. It is absolutely essential that an individual gets somebody who knows what to do in that jurisdiction.

Role of an Attorney

Defending domestic violence charges in Virginia is definitely a case where an individual should contact an attorney right away because a domestic violence lawyer can help prevent their client from facing more legal trouble.

If there are any injuries the alleged victim is saying came from the defendant, that is something that a defense attorney needs to explain. An attorney defending domestic violence charges in Virginia will need to explain the scenario without the accused individual where the injuries could have been sustained.

Getting witnesses who saw what was happening prior, saw what was happening after, and can accurately report on whether or not those bruises were there are sometimes key in these situations. Discrediting that person may be the number one thing that is helpful to a defense case for domestic assault and battery. Discrediting witnesses is number one but also explaining away evidence that looks bad is probably the second most important part.

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